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July 31, 2020

WHO rep all praise for KMU Lab service during coronavirus pandemic

Peshawar

July 31, 2020

PESHAWAR: The World Health Organization (WHO) Representative for Pakistan Dr. Palitha Mahipela has said that the role played by Khyber Medical University (KMU) Peshawar on the frontline from the platform of Public Health Reference Laboratory and Public Health Department against coronavirus the outbreak is unforgettable and admirable. He expressed these views as chief guest while addressing a function on technical assessment of 17 CovidD-19 testing laboratories organized by KMU. On the occasion, Secretary Health Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah, Vice-Chancellor KMU Prof. Dr. Zia-ul-Haq, Director General Health Services Dr. Niaz, Registrar of KMU Prof. Dr. Muhammad Saleem Gandapur, In-charge Emergency Programme WHO Dr Michael Lukwiya, Healthcare Commission Chairman Dr. Maqsood Ali, Dr. Shaheen Afridi, Dr. Amjad Mehboob, Dr. Asif Ali and other relevant officials were also present.

It is worth mentioning that the said assessment was carried out jointly by KMU, WHO and Health Department of 12 public sector whereas that of 5 private sector labs of the province. Dr. Palitha Mahipela said that the timely response of the government of Pakistan, that of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and especially the Department of Health and KMU against the corona outbreak was the evidence of the fact that the pandemic caused the minimal loss of lives.

He said that in the absence of testing facilities, the damage from corona could have multiplied, but since the KMU Reference Lab was already prepared to deal with the Corona’s diagnosis and to curb the rising number of cases.

Dr. Palitha Mahipela said that there is ample scope for improvement in KMU and other laboratories set up in the province, so it is hoped that the prevention of other infectious diseases including corona through the provision of required human and financial facilities in these laboratories on priority basis would help in taking large-scale prevention measures and the WHO will provide all the assistance it needs. Secretary Health Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah said that the establishment of 16 public health laboratories across the province in a short span of two months is a great achievement for which the KMU and the team of the Health Department are to be congratulated. “We are really proud of these laboratories, especially the KMU Public Health Laboratory, which has set an example of serving the community by working day and night during the height of the Corona epidemic,” he added. He said that the performance of 167,109 corona tests in the public sector which makes 92 per cent of the total number of tests done during the last four months is a testament to the impact of the joint efforts launched by the health department and KMU against corona. Earlier, KMUK Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Zia-ul-Haq welcomed the guests and highlighted in details the performance of the staff working in KME Reference Laboratory and three shifts here during the last four months.

He said that when the second Public Health Reference Laboratory was set up in the country after NIH in 2017, no one had any illusion that after just three years, this laboratory would play a role on the front line in the fight against corona. He said that during the last four months when all the institutions of the province and the country were closed, the staff of KMU was busy day and night in the tests of Corona even during adverse conditions during which some staff members were affected by corona but He did not give up and today it is the result of his sacrifices that not only has Corona lost its momentum in the province but also sixteen new laboratories have been set up in the province from north to south in two months. He said that KMU would soon set up laboratories on commercial basis in different cities of the province which would help in conducting high-quality tests at low cost as well as significantly increase the revenue of the university.